Book Chapter

Russian Election Watch No. 6, July 14, 1995

July 14, 1995, No. 6

To help identify significant developments affecting Russian Elections, the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project offers a simplified summary including individual''s estimates of the likelihood of Russian elections and their results. The estimated probabilities are an indication of judgements of the individuals named.

I. The Probability of Duma Elections in December 1995

A. Individuals Likelihood Change From Last Week

Graham Allison (6/17): 80%
SDI Project

John Lloyd (5/17): 70%
SDI Project Fellow
Financial Times

Sergei Grigoriev (7/7): 65%
SDI Project Fellow
Former Spokesman for Gorbachev

Matthew Lantz (7/7) 80%
SDI Project

B. Recent Events in Favor of Parliamentary Elections:

CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION DRAWS DISTRICT LINES: The CEC drew the boundaries for the 225 single-member districts for the December parliamentary elections. Each district will have approximately 466,000 voters. Additionally, 21 federation subjects with populations smaller than this level have each been allotted one district. The map has been referred to the Duma. The Duma must approve the map''s provisions and decide how Russian living abroad must vote. Electoral law states that the single member constituency list must be published by August 29, at least 110 days before the scheduled parliamentary elections. (omri, 7/6/95)

DUMA PASSES FEDERATION COUNCIL ELECTION LAW: The law, which passed on its third reading would require all member of the upper house to be elected to their positions. Currently, only 22 of Russia''s 89 regions elect members to the Federation Council. Most of the rest have been appointed by the President. The Duma has encouraged elections to guarantee separation of powers. Yeltsin and Federation Council Chairman, Vladimir Shumeiko denounced the Duma efforts. Yeltsin claims elections would violate the constitution, which does not specify elections must be held. Shumeiko said he would refer the matter to the Constitutional Court if needed. (omri, 7/6/95)

ESTIMATES FOR COSTS OF PARLIAMENTARY CAMPAIGN: Moskovsky Komsomolets inquired at advertising agencies as to the costs of an expected December parliamentary campaign. The price tag for an entire campaign including leaflets, billboards, meetings with voters, and image making for a electoral association ran between $100,000 and $2 million. One billboard costs from $200 to $8000. Printing 10,000 leaflets runs $400 to $700. Konstantin Borovoi estimates a blocs campaign may run $3 to $5 million. Valentin Kaptsov, number two in the CP-RF claims a single candidate will minimally cost $10,000. General Filatov of the LDPR puts it at $60,000-$80,000. Major name recognition will help. For those without recognition, patronage of local leaders will be necessary. (See section III for individual party financing plans). (7/7/95)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT STRIKES DOWN REGIONAL ELECTION LAW THAT CONTRADICTS CONSTITUTION. In August of 1994, the Chuvash Republic''s State Soviet removed a minimum turnout requirement for regional elections. The candidates who won a plurality were declared the winner. Chuvash President Nikolai Fedorov appealed to the Court in June claiming the constitution requires a 25% turnout for any valid election. The Court sided with the President. Since _ of the Chuvash Soviet was elected under the unconstitutional law, more legal challenges are expected. (omri, 7/11/95)

VLADIVOSTOK PARTIES AND ELITE FORM "FOR HONEST ELECTIONS": A group designed to make sure that elections are free and fair. (Sevodnya, 7/4/95)

C. Recent Events in Opposition to Parliamentary Elections:

CONTROVERSY OVER REDISTRICTING: The Central Election Commission''s proposed redistricting of the Duma''s 225 single member electoral districts have run into controversy by changing almost all the lines without public explanation, reported the July 11th Izvestia. The lines seem to have been altered to complicate the electoral prospects of democratic politicians. If the draft is adopted these Duma members will have to run in totally new districts. In the regions, the plan attempts to dilute reform-minded urban voters by placing them with rural voters. Gerrymandering is accused. (omri, 7/12/95)

RUSSIAN ELECTORATE DECLINES BY TWO MILLION VOTERS SINCE 1993: The Central Election Commission reports that Russia has 104,977,895 eligible voters, two million fewer than were registered for the 1993 parliamentary elections. This figure will be used to determine whether 25% of the eligible voters participated. (omri, 7/12/95)

II. Probability of Presidential Elections in June

A. Individual Likelihood Change From Last Week

Graham Allison 55%
John Lloyd 55%
Sergei Grigoriev 60%
Matthew Lantz 50% -5%

B. New Evidence:

PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION LAW IN RUSSIA: On July 11, President Yeltsin was hospitalized with a heart condition. Although, the condition does not appear serious, should the President be incapable of preforming his duties Article 92 of the Russian Constitution provides for presidential succession in times of emergency. The Prime Minister assumes the role of acting president and could exercise all power of the presidency except: dissolving the Duma, calling referenda, and initiating constitutional amendments. Should the PM become acting president, new elections must be held within three months of the president leaving office. However, the constitution does not declare who has the ability to determine that the Russian president in incapable of preforming the duties of his office. (omri, 7/11/95)

COMMUNISTS ATTEMPT AND FAIL PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT PROCESS. The CP-RF collected 168 signatures to begin proceeding of impeachment on President Yeltsin. Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin said the motion will be included in on the Duma agenda on July 7. Rybkin said the Duma legal department would inspect the submitted documents. The president can only be impeached for treason or charges of high crimes. Should a majority (226) of Duma members vote to consider the impeachment motion, a _ majority (300) would be required to refer the indictments to the courts. The motion failed to get placed on the agenda because Zhirinovsky''s LDPR withdrew support after the President was hospitalized. (omri, 7/6/95, 7/13/95)

III. If Duma Elections are Held in December, What are the Likely Outcomes?

A. Individuals

Graham Allison John Lloyd

Sergei Grigoriev Matthew Lantz
CP-RF 20% CP-RF 22%
Cherno 15% Agparty 15%
Yabloko 15% Cherno 12%
Com/Nat. Coalition Yabloko 12%
(RKO, DPR) 13% Lebed Party 9%
Agparty 12% LDPR 8%
Rybkin 8% RChoice 6%
Women of R 7% Women of R 6%
LDPR 5% Rybkin 5%
RChoice 5% Nationalists 5%

B. New Evidence:
FINANCING OF POLITICAL PARTIES FOR DECEMBER ELECTIONS: Russian parties anticipate different sources of financing. CP-RF claims to be disinterested in money and will conduct a campaign by "sheer enthusiasm". In reality, the Communists have funds from commercial structures. Women of Russia will likely use funds from the state budget. Zhirinovsky''s LPDR is soliciting Russian businesses whom his faction has tried to protect. The Agrarian Party is not revealing sources, prompting the article to suggest state subsidies to agriculture will be used. Chernomyrdin''s Our Home is Russia will likely draw on the state budget for financing as well as Gazprom. Russia''s Choice is having difficulties funding since it lost its primary financier, Oleg Boiko to ROH. It is unlikely to find a "rich uncle" before the next elections. Yabloko is having good fortunes with private organizations. The Most financial group will also likely back Yavlinsky''s bloc, although currently, they claim to back no one. (Moskovsky Komsomolets, 7/7/95)

OUR HOME IS RUSSIA (ROH) OUTLINED IN FINANCIAL TIMES: With Chernomyrdin''s political metamorphosis now taking place, the article asks is the PM''s newly formed party likely to undertake a similar transformation and become the most popular party? The party consists of bureaucrats and former communists elites. Mr. Konstantin Titov, the governor of the Samara region and deputy head of the bloc is confident that ROH will become the most popular party. He cites polls taken outside the urban centers which show the Prime Minister''s popularity is high. He admits the party is a pro-government party created to promote government policies and to create from above a two party system in Russia of center-left and center-right blocs. Mr. Titov claims the three month old party already has 70 regional offices and will be represented "in every Russian village, town, and city" by September. (FT, 7/7/95)

OUR HOME IS RUSSIA OFFICIAL ON STATUS OF BLOC: Leonard Vid, head of the party''s Executive Committee, claims the party has not been created for the government, but for lifting the country out of crisis. The party will have political solidarity with the government because the government is carrying out the goals of the movement: stability in the economy and predictability of policy. He announced that groups have been established in 79 republics, krais, and oblasts and the formation of the party''s regional structure should be completed between July 15 and July 20. (Kommersant Daily, 7/7/95)

IN FIGHTING WITHIN ROH: Anticipating electoral victory in December, leaders within ROH are bickering amongst themselves for positions in future parliaments. This week''s debate came between Party of Russian Unity and Accord Leader Sergei Shakhrai, a founder of ROH, and former Russian VP, Alexander Shokhin, who authored the party''s economic program. Both sought to be the parliamentary faction''s leader after the elections. The Political Council of the party decided on Shakhrai. However, Shakhrai had also planned to be Duma speaker in 1993, but did not have sufficient support of the other deputies. Will history repeat? (Obshchaya Gazeta, 7/5/95)

CONGRESS OF RUSSIANS LIVING ABROAD HELD IN MOSCOW ON JULY 6: CP-RF''s Konstatin Zatulin, Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, told the attendees that the Congress of Russian Communities (RKO, the party of Skokov, and perhaps General Lebed) would defend their interests in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Zatulin reported that the RKO is negotiating coalitions with other parties, specifically, Zyuganov''s CP-RF and Glazyev''s Democratic Party of Russia. (note: Last week''s Election Watch stated Glazyev and the RKO could not come to terms.) (omri, 7/7/95)

COMMUNISTS SPONSOR SECOND IMPEACHMENT MOTION FOR THE DUMA. Motion fails to pass, but Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin agreed to put it on the Duma agenda. CP-RF Duma Deputy Konstantin Zatulin cites "numerous failures of the current government in domestic and foreign policy leave no other option but to resign." See section II (above). (omri, 7/6/95, Moskovskaya Pravda, 6/28/95)

CP-RF AND YABLOKO? CP-RF leader Gennady Zyuganov says of Yavlinsky, "He is the most moderate and professional politician in the democratic camp." CP-RF deputy Vladimir Semago after defending the fact he can be a successful businessman and a Communist simultaneously, claimed his party''s objectives were similar to democratic parties. He mentions certain "prospects for union with Yabloko." (Kommersant Daily, 7/6/95 and Sevodnya, 6/28/95)

YABLOKO''S LUKIN CONFIRMS YABLOKO IS NOT PLANNING TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER DEMOCRATIC PARTIES IN ELECTIONS: Yabloko''s number two man, Vladimir Lukin, claims although his faction will probably conduct talks with Gaidar''s Russia''s Democratic Choice regarding majority districts, they will not form a coalition. The biggest threat to democratic forces is the massive number of small democratic parties, which he encouraged to join larger democratic forces to form blocs, such as last week''s Russia''s Choice merger. Lukin further predicted that according to his data, 20% of voters were ready to vote for democratic forces not associated with the government or president. He predicted Yabloko will win and be the largest Duma faction with 20% of the votes. (Sevodnya, 6/28/95)

YAVLINSKY SEES NO PROBLEM WITH DEMOCRATIC DISUNITY: Writing in the July 12th Izvestia, the Yabloko leader sees no tragedy in the current spilt among democratic parties. He accused the other reform parties of concentrating power in Yeltsin''s hands and supporting an economic policy to benefit a minority. Russian voters have a greater choice than just supporting the status quo or returning to Communism. He claims to offer a democratic alternative for Russia by separating himself from Yeltsin, Chernomyrdin, and Gaidar. (omri, 7/12/95)

YABLOKO FACTION DEPUTIES FORM DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE: Deputies Shostakovsky and Yakovenko created a democratic alternative group to Yabloko in a possible attempt to play for safety in case Yabloko suffers defeat in elections. (Obshchaya Gazeta, 6/28/95) STABILITY BLOC MARKS 100 DAY ANNIVERSARY: At a press conference Alexei Leushkin, Chairman of the pro-government parliamentary faction, stated membership had increased from 36 deputies to 40 since its formulation. The group is guided by centrist democratic principles and will concentrate on curtailing criminality and protecting local producers. The faction pins its future political hopes on ROH, and most members will seek reelection in single member districts. (Sevodnya, 7/6/95)

AGRARIANS OPPOSE GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC POLICY, SALE OF LAND: Spokesman Leonid Orlenko claims the current economic policies of the Russian Federation meet mostly the demands of Western monopolies. An alternative economic program, under his supervision might turn out to be instrumental in helping Russia out of the crisis. (Sevodnya, 6/27/95)

NEW ISLAMIC ELECTION BLOC FORMED. The Islamic Committee, led by Geidar Dzhemal, was announced at a press conference in Moscow on July 10. Dzhemal stressed the commonality of Orthodoxy and Islam. Together they can stand against Western nihilism. Dzhemal recommends that Russia form a union with Islamic countries. Muslim politicians of Russian can serve as intermediaries. He also stresses attracting Islamic capital for high-tech investments. Abdurashid Dudaev, assistant to the President of the Ingushetian Republic says the Committee supports the territorial integrity of Russia with the recognition of equal rights for Muslims. Similar Islamic groups have developed recently, including the Islamic Democratic Party of Russia. (omri, 7/11/95)

D. If June Presidential Elections. What Outcome?

A. Individuals

Graham Allison Matthew Lantz

Yeltsin 25% Cherno 30%
Cherno 20% Yeltsin 20%
Rybkin 10% Lebed 15%
Yavlinsky 10% Yavlinsky 12%
Lebed 10% Zyuganov 5%
Other 25% Zhirinovsky 3%
Rybkin 3%
Luzhkov 3%
B. Fedorov 3%
Other 6%

Sergei Grigoriev

Lebed 25-30%
Cherno 20%
Yavlinsky 15%
Ryzhkov 10%
Yeltsin 10%
Zyuganov 8%
Zhirinovsky 5%

B. New Evidence:

AFTERMATH OF YELTSIN ILLNESS: More than one observer from Russia and the West predicted Mr. Yeltsin''s illness would finish his political career; however, the public faith in the political institutions that would be in operation during a transition is growing. The presidency is perceived as a post regulated by the rule of law, not by divine right or the powerful verdicts of the Communist Party, as in the past. (Financial Times, 7/12/95)

FORMER YELTSIN ADVISOR GENNADY BURBULIS ON CHERNOMYRDIN: "Chernomyrdin''s candidature now appears rather acceptable as a transition (for the post of president). Viktor Stepanovich (Chernomyrdin) proves everyday that, in addition to possessing exceptional decency, he is in a position to listen to competent people and make corresponding discussions. He will be a candidate who should be backed." (Moskovskaya Pravda, 7/4/95)

E. Poll Results For Elections.

Moskovsky Novosti article on 6/27/95: Report by researchers of Expertise Institute Under Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs predicts the next

Duma will have: 100 Liberals
100 Independent Deputies
50 Loyal Centrists
120 Communist/Agrarians
100 Nationalists

In presidential elections participants in the first round will include: Yeltsin, Gaidar, Gorbachev, Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov, Lebed, Romanov, Rybkin, Ryzhkov, Rutskoi, Chernomyrdin, and Yavlinsky. Yavlinsky''s chances are high if Yeltsin steps down. Lebed could win with a professionally organized campaign.

POLLS REPORTED IN BOSTON GLOBE, 7/12/95: Article cites poll by All-Russian Center for Research and Public Opinion (no date) that placed Yeltsin behind eight others including Zyuganov and Zhirinovsky in the presidential elections. Only 2.6% of the respondents stated they would vote for Yeltsin if the election were held today.
In another uncited poll: the Globe stated that Chernomyrdin has eclipsed Yeltsin as Russia''s most influential public figure.

KOMMERSANT DAILY 7/7/95: Reports result of All-Russian Center for Public Opinion and Surveys (likely poll mentioned above); "If presidential elections were held next Sunday, whom would you vote for? (Russian-wide urban population sample; figures given in percentages)

POLITICIANS End of June End of May

1. Alexander Lebed 7.9% 2.3%
2. Grigory Yavlinsky 6.0% 8.1%
3. Svyatolslav Fedorov 5.5% 5.5%
4. V. Zhirinovsky 4.6% 6.3%
5. Gen. Zyuganov 3.9% 4.2%
6/7. Y. Gaidar 3.5% 3.7%
6/7. B. Fedorov 3.5% 2.7%
8. V. Chernomyrdin 3.4% 3.0%
9/10. B. Yeltsin 2.6% 5.6%
9/10. A. Rutskoi 2.6% 3.5%
11. Boris Nemtsov 2.2% 2.3%
Others 14.4% 17.2%

The article claims the Lebed phenomenon is too early to consider beyond the realm of momentary spikes. When the poll was taken, Lebed''s feud with Defense Minister Grachev was culminating. His role as persecuted person, who is persecuted for the truth, is like that of Yeltsin''s with Gorbachev. In the future, Lebed will have to develop this theme and create an electoral organization.

Yavlinsky fell from the first position to the second for the first time in months. Zhirinovsky also fell two places. Svyatolslav Fedorov moved up one spot. Zyuganov, Gaidar, and Chernomyrdin all retained their positions. Yeltsin''s popularity fell dramatically, which was further evidenced by the voter response to the question of should Yeltsin be nominated to a second term? 74.9% said no in June, up from 67.2% in May. (Kommersant Daily, 7/7/95)

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: SDI Staff. “Russian Election Watch No. 6, July 14, 1995.” .